Now in 1989, with the line-up, you recorded the “Why Did Johnny Kill” demo. How did you come up with the title for this demo? How easy was it to come up with the 6 songs that are on this demo? Where did you record this demo at?
I came up with the concept and title of Why Did Johnny Kill after watching a documentary on HBO. I showed it to George and let him know that I thought it would be a good idea for a song. It’s about kids that kill their parents and their imaginary friends telling that they need to do it. He was always open to ideas and thought it was a great idea. That song became our signature song too. It’s very easy to play but it’s catchy. Redjack was George’s idea. He was a huge Star Trek fan and Redjack is a Star Trek episode where the spirit of Jack the Ripper never dies and it possesses people throughout time and cannot be controlled. I wrote the music for Carnage when we were jamming with Sica, so I wanted to finally bring it to Oblivion. Charlie and Proveaux clicked with each other and had a lot in common, so had the skeleton for Contents Under Pressure laid out from jamming with each other. Read the lyrics for Contents Under Pressure. To this day, those are my favorite lyrics of all time from any band. George created a depressing circle of failure and giving up. Necrocide was a concept about killing zombies and came together fast then we re-recorded Life After Death Row because we wanted better production. It was no better than the first one thought. That demo came together very easily and it’s when we defined our sound.
Damian Cordisco (RIP) recorded it for us at his DAC Studios. He was a drummer and really good friends with Jimmy Southworth (Rachel Bolan). He played drums in a band called The Flu with Jimmy and we were going for a rock oriented drum sound with Proveaux. It made a lot of sense to record with Damian and expand our sound. We recorded Contents Under Pressure with him and I recorded the RagStew stuff with him too. He loved our material and always thought we were going to be a big band. When we recorded Contents, he told me “dude that is the best thing he ever recorded and that we are onto something and not to forget about him when we are playing arenas around the world.” He let me know that he cannot think of one band that we sound like after Contents and that was the goal all along – DO NOT SOUND LIKE ANY OTHER BAND!
Now were any of your demos, even including the last one professionally done or did you have to dub them all? How many shows did you get to play during the 1989 era? How easy was it to come up with a set list? How much merchandise were you selling?
We never did the professional demo release. It was all dubbed. The furthest we ever ventured into professional is that we had the Contents Under Pressure demo covers printed onto Yellow cardboard for more professional quality. We started printing yellow shirts and using yellow and black on everything. We wanted this Yellow Oblivion (Yell-Oblivion) connection, so when people saw yellow and black they would associate it to us.
I cannot count how many shows we were playing at the time. There was never a week that we did not play at least one night. It was usually two shows a week for 18 months. Metal was becoming categorized – thrash, hardcore, death, black, speed, punk, crossover, etc. – and we were lucky enough to cross all genres so we could play a hardcore bill one night and a death metal bill the next night. We were the only band that was our style in our area. We were heavy and technical with a groove. There were a lot of fights at our shows because the crowds mixed but I don’t ever remember getting booed. When every band became an extreme death metal band, there were shows where the crowd did not want thrash and they would stare and clap politely. To me the scene was becoming monotonous and I could not distinguish one band from the next on many nights. I still think there should be a melody and originality when it comes to heavy music and at that time I was witnessing the death of it. A lot of bands seemed like they stopped caring about originality and just wanted to be faster and heavier with a disdain for clean vocals.
During this time in 1989 how many shows did you get to see? Did you think with the popularity of thrash metal and more labels popping up that it was just a matter of time until you finally were signed?
My life was Oblivion in 1989 and if I was not playing a show, I was at a show. I am not married but I am still with the same girl from back then and she tells everyone how I dragged her every dive from DC to Albany for three years and made her sit through 1000 bands. I don’t think I missed many shows between 1988 and 1990.
I did not think it was a matter of time. I knew we were going to get signed to a good deal. I looked at it as fact. We had offers; unfortunately they all sucked over the years. I was not in a band for the money but I needed to eat and I was not going to take any offer from any label. I do not know how these other bands did it. They must have had better offers than us because the stuff I read was basically, Oblivion will not make money unless every expense was covered. If we signed us then they promote us and pay us, don’t put all of the risk on us. I wanted to share some of the risk and reward. It felt like we were taking all of the risk and the labels were getting all of the rewards. I am a long-term thinker and let George know, “what happens in five years, what do we do?, bands don’t last and we will be losers cleaning lunch rooms forever.” He did not care, he thought we should take any offer. Plus, I pursued MCA because they were not signing every metal band under the sun and we could stand out on MCA.
Now in 1990 you released your last demo called “Contents Under Pressure” and that also brought back the return of drummer Chris Kelly and also guitar player Frank Bonanno. How did you find Frank how did this come about with Chis and what did he bring to the band the 2nd time around? Did you do a lot of shows or promote this demo a lot before the band broke up?
The Contents Under Pressure era was our peak. We were playing a ton of shows, getting regular play on WSOU; I was talking to labels about "real" deals not some crap deal where you go broke after one tour. We were on top of our game and we played so many shows that we were basically professional, even though we were still self-releasing. After Charlie and Proveaux left the band a mutual friend had us contact Frank. She told us, “I know an exceptional guitarist, you guys should try him out.” Holy cow, she was right. Frank blew our doors off and he brought a technical ability and focus on precision that George, Dave and I never focused on. Proveaux played with us until we could find a replacement then Chris heard that we were looking again. He was surprised about how good the Why Did Johnny Kill songs were and I do not think he thought we would make it without Mike. We reconnected and he was all over it, especially after he heard Frank play. Frank is a phenomenal guitarist and he only listens to metal; basically the prototypical perfectionist. He was the perfect balance to our focus on groove and melody, which help us truly become original. I ask this all of the time – WHO DOES OBLIVION SOUND LIKE (Contents Under Pressure era)? That originality and ability to play our instruments is what made MCA want us.
So what led to the band breaking up? Was it a bad break up or a mutual one?
I did not realize it at the time. Bands need every member to have the same goal, drive and dedication from every member. I assumed everyone wanted what I wanted but we never created a Mission Statement, we should have made sure we were all on the same page. I had a plan that if I did not make it by 21 then go to college, so I did that. Frank already left the band before we officially broke up and Tom Picciotti played on the two live songs. Frank started a band called Technikill and wrote all of the songs and Chris played in both bands. You cannot have members playing in other bands because then there is no commitment. It was the beginning of the end because we all had different goals and commitment levels. It was time for it to end.
I also saw you had interest from New Renaissance Records and also MCA Records. Obviously you sent them demos and stuff so how much farther did the interest go? Did they actually offer you a record contract at any time? Were any other labels interested at the time? Looking back would you change any things about the way things went with the band?
MCA loved Contents and the band and they wanted us to record a demo for them at their studio with their producer. Like anything that sounds too good, it was too good to be true. Before we could even begin negotiating, they began wanting input on the creative output and I was not going to be Grim Reaper. So, when I walked away from the MCA discussions, I never explained it great and they thought I was being too picky with the labels. Anne Boleyn was running New Renaissance and she would have signed us on the spot. It came in around the same time as MCA and I went running for MCA. She was great, she told me that she was just a small label and was not sure she could offer us what we want but was willing to work with us mutually if we had interest. Now that I look at it, she really sold herself short. Looking back at it, New Renaissance should have been our home because she was open to doing what is best for Oblivion and the label. After telling MCA “no” it was when it all started to splinter and we were going to quit. So, would I have done anything different, I guess the right answer is to always say “no” but we should have pursued New Renaissance and just not have followed up with MCA.
After the MCA debacle, we did a showcase for Atlantic Records and we played great, even though our hearts were not in it anymore. I forgot the A&R guy’s name but we could have worked with them because they were stock piling metal bands; we were just done. We might have been able to something with Megaforce but I did not know what direction they were going. They were signing bands like Sweaty Nipples and seemed to want to hit the Seattle thing. I guess I can say “what if” we just signed with New Renaissance what would have happened? I don’t think it would have worked regardless because we all had different goals. I think we would have made an album went on a tour then would break up anyway.
So what did you do with yourself after the band broke up? How sad were you when the band broke up? Did you stay in contact with many of the former members? Did you continue to stay in touch with the underground scene with the rise of death and black metal in the 90’s and through the grunge scene, which broke big in 1994?
I went to college and went work for Megaforce for a few months and maybe we could have signed there but the band was over at that point. I went to college to pursue a new life outside of music. I stayed in touch with everyone from the band and the scene after we broke up. I was really bummed because I know the band was as good or better than a lot of the other bands that got bigger than us. Those bands also had complete dedication from all of the members with a common goal. Even after Sica left Oblivion, he still hung out at our apartment in Seaside when he was not in Oblivion, so did Joe Farley, Dave Gutierrez, Proveaux, Charlie, etc. We all remained friends. Proveaux moved in with me and Debbie when I bought my first house in 1994. There was never animosity, just different goals.
I liked Death (the band) and a lot of death/black metal bands that sound original. I do not like all of the bands that indistinguishable from the other. I just don’t like bands that do not try to be original or simply can’t play their instruments. I could not follow a scene where a bunch of bands sound exactly the same. I liked a lot of the grunge stuff because it was different and original. Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Sixty Watt Shaman, Tool, etc. were all amazing. I never like Pearl Jam because to me they came after the other bands and were not as good or original. I grew up on 70’s rock, so to me grunge was kind of mix of that punk and thrash and I like all of that stuff. I’ll always be a fan of good musicianship in heavy music that comes across as real and authentic.
Now with 6 demos out were you getting a lot of requests from people who say wanted to hear the 1st and 2nd demos and stuff? If they were did you dub tapes for them or no?
Actually, no we did not get requests for the old stuff. If we did I probably asked Mike to send it to them. We just kind of moved on. When a new demo was out that was our only focus, I don’t think I even sent much of Johnny after Contents was done.
Now give me your opinion on each of your demos starting with:
This demo kicked my ass. I was heavy into tape trading and when I heard this one, I think I got it from a trader in Belgium. I think I was 15 and I said, “holy shit, these guys are from Toms River, they are going to be huge.” I think this might be the best metal demo to come out of NJ ever. I think Raised By Fire is a great song. All four songs – Rabid Bestial, Aggressive Assault, Raised By Fire and Life After Death were and are my kind of songs. The Slayer influence is pronounced and to me that is a good thing.
Intention to Kill:
I heard this one after Oblivion broke up and we already recorded Back To Maim. I still cannot believe that it is not mixed. All three songs are brutal and I would be happy to play all of them now. The song Intention To Kill is by far the best song from the first two demos. If Oblivion would have secured a deal and did it like a lot of other bands, I think Intention To Kill would have been one of those songs that resonates with a lot of people and would have gone into heavy rotation on Headbanger’s Ball and metal stations everywhere. Listen to that song, it is so fucking good.
Back To Maim:
You can still hear the Slayer influence but it’s not as strong as the first two demos. I like this demo because it set the stage for our sound as Oblivion. Germ Warfare is the standout track, unfortunately the snare disappears during the fast part. It’s got a great chorus and set the stage for an Oblivion song structure that lasts throughout Contents Under Pressure. The Unknown was a Cyprus remake with an Oblivion touch and is my personal favorite. We cut this version of Death of a Martyr from the actual demo release and have it on Cyclogenesis. Domination could be part of the first two demos, it is straight up Oblivion thrash.
Intoxicated With Agony!!:
I LOVE this release because all six songs are so damn strong and it builds from BTM. This became our sound in our quest to sound original. R.I.P. is heavy, simple, melodic and good. The standout track is Bitch. I really like Mike’s acoustic intro, he did that in one take in the studio. That was a departure for the band. The lyrics in Bitch are so fucking strong and guys can relate to it. Bitch was always a song the crowd would chant for us to play. It sucked when we stopped playing it. I always wanted to bring it back because it’s a Top 5 Oblivion sound. Trapped and Refrained has a good groove and I like my bass line in it. Death of a Martyr is our departure and trying to get more creative. Had Mike stayed in the band I think we would have followed this direction. Waste of Life is another version of another Cyprus tune, it’s OK but nothing stands out to me. Redoing Intention To Kill was so great for me. I really liked adding the bass lick to the beginning since it was not on the original version.
War Gives Me Peace of Mind?:
I think this is our weakest effort. We were trying to find a new direction after Mike left the band and there were three of us writing the music now along with George handling all of the lyrics. I think the song structures are good but we rushed the recording. Life After Death Row is another Top 5 Oblivion track, plus it was our first song after Mike. It added to our new direction. Simple and catchy song. Portrait of a Maggot was the first time I wrote music with another composer so there are a ton of parts. It’s got a great intro with awesome lyrics; the recording is weak though. Portrait is probably some of George’s best lyrics and to this day, he will not sing the song because of how dark it is for him. Scales of Injustice is decent. The guitar intro was something Dave had for a while and if you listen to Lamb of God’s Embers from VII: Sturm Und Drang you will hear a very similar riff. I like that a song as huge as Embers has an Oblivion sounding riff, it almost makes me feel justified. Coup D’état was our attempt to really try something different. It’s probably our weakest song but it’s important because it helped us open the door and explore musically.
Why Did Johnny Kill:
What can you say about this one? I wish it was recorded better is the only blemish. All six songs are catchy and came together quick. The writing was split up evenly and we had a strong hard rock drummer, who went on to Solace manning the kit. The lyrics are great and there is a great mix of hardcore and metal. This is when our sound became our sound. Oblivion was truly original and did not sound like other bands. We needed to do War first so we could write these songs. Why Did Johnny Kill is our most popular song even though it’s simple and easy. It’s kind of the song that gave us our identity. Redjack is another Top 5 Oblivion track and I love playing my bass line during the intro. Again, it’s just another catchy song with good hooks that resonate with people and I like the lyrics. Carnage is one of my personal favorites because I wrote it when we were playing with Sica. It has the hardcore influence and some catchy hooks, plus song kicks your ass. It was also the tipping point for Contents where it was becoming a little more technical. In my opinion, Contents Under Pressure are the best lyrics of all time by any band and the song is strong too. It brings out that rock element a little more and has the hardcore edge. Necrocide is OK, it’s got good lyrics again and the song is pretty good, it’s just got a lot of competition on this demo. A good song, just the weakest on this release.
Contents Under Pressure:
I know I’m partial because I am playing on it but what a way to go out. This is such a great release. I do not think there is a weak note on it. Every song stands on its own and god damnit we do not sound like another band on planet earth. This is uniquely our Oblivion sound and identity. You can hear all five of the previous demos influence on these songs. We took the best and saved it for last. Scarred for Life’s guitar layers and speed rifle through you plus we do not have a chorus (a tip of the hat to our Prog influences). The song is about the victim of rape, who gets her revenge through castrating her attacker, not for the faint of heart. Blind Faith is the first music Frank brought to the band and it has a little Messhugah feel but there was not a Messhugah yet. The entire song is strong and made us better musicians. The lyrics focus on religion but it is also inspired by the tragic murder of Toms River resident, Maria Marshall, whose husband hired someone to kill her at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway, not a happy song in anyway. The “new” Germ Warfare uses almost the same lyrics from the BTM version but with all new music. There was nothing wrong with the original music, the lyrics just fit a song I wrote and George plagiarized himself. Killer track and another Top 5 Oblivion song. D.O.A. is about an abortion and very dark. I think this is the one song that might sound like another band, I can hear the Testament influence but it is still a great song with a lot of riffs. Involuntary Bio-Conflagration (IBC) was Frank’s second track and our most technical song. It is my favorite one on the demo and really set the stage for our direction. I wrote No Code and Dave wrote Mind Ripper (the two live) and you can hear the IBC influence on those songs. Plus, it’s a song about spontaneous combustion, how can you go wrong. Product of the Environment simply kicks your ass from the first note to the last and is heavy. It’s a song about getting lost in your own space in your mind and succumbing to all of the bad influences of society for the worst. Another dark song with great riffs, we were building on a theme. Overall, Chris Kelly’s drumming is bloody amazing on these six songs too.
Out of all the demos do you have a particular favorite and a least favorite of the ones you played on?
Contents Under Pressure is without a doubt my favorite and the one that I am most proud of creating. Again, I think it only sounds like Oblivion, it does not sound like any other band and that is really hard to do. It is intentional and it took a lot of hard work. My least favorite is War Gives Me Peace of Mind? because we rushed it and the production is not great. If we spent more time crafting the songs I would have liked it better. We wanted to do something different but we did not put enough time and effort into it. It was a learning experience with the new members.
Tell the readers in 2011 about this Remixed release which I actually have a copy of and reformation of the band. Which line-of the band was in this and how long did it last and did you play many shows and all?
The Remixed release contained all of the post-Mike Sica era songs. I had the old reels and kept some flyers and had some videos. Dave contacted me and had the idea to digitize it and remix it. He took the reels to a studio and had it baked then he remixed it with the engineer. We both paid for it Dave did all of the artwork and packaging. It sounded better than the original demos but it was still a low mix and a little muddy. We were happy to have it out regardless. He also released a live DVD that I wish I had. Oh the shows, we actually only played once. Every other show had a natural disaster or band member disagreement cancel it. Hurricane Sandy canceled one of the shows, so we had that going for us. The one show we played was a last minute request from the promoter. We knew two days prior to playing and we were way too loud for the club. I think we literally blew the doors off of the place. It was very loud and we had a great turn out.
Now I see in the CD booklet in 2013 you were working on a new release. Now far did this actually go? Did you have songs ready to go and record? Was anything actually recorded? If so will ever see the light the day?
This one hurts. We were going to self-release four new songs on an EP titled Mankind Becomes Inhuman.” It was becoming a concept album. All of the music is recorded and complete. We just need vocals. George left prior to finishing so Dave and I tried to do the vocals and it’s just not the same without George. George is willing to finish it then we can mix it. Unfortunately, not all of the members want to finish it. We just need one member to give us the green light to finish it and George will do it. He just is not willing to agree to it. I doubt it will see the light of day, unless he has a change of heart. I hope he does but I do not see it happening. It’s been finished for so long I hope the studio still has the files. All four songs are really strong and it deserves a release…oh well.
So now is the band still together. What is the current line-up?
Yes we are together but are on hiatus until other projects are complete. Mike Sica is playing bass in Lethal Aggression and Dave Gutierrez is playing guitar. They are recording new Lethal material, so check it out. When he is done, we are hoping to play select shows and see where it goes. Dave Gutierrez might even be willing to sing and/or play some rhythm guitar. The current line-up is George Machuga-Vocals, Mike Sica-Guitar, Frank Bonanno-Guitar, Santo DiBenedetto and Chris Kelly-splitting time on drums and me on bass. We are discussing how we want to do it and it should be soon. A tentative set list is in place.
So how did this whole thing with Divebomb Records come together? Did any other labels approach you during the years to put out your stuff on CD? Did you get many people over the years asking you to dub stuff onto CD for them? Did you ever give any thought of posting the demos on-line or on You Tube for people to hear?
A few people asked Matt Rudzinski at Divebomb to look at Oblivion and a few people told me to reach out to Divebomb. I checked out the website and it looked like it would be a good fit. I like their slogan, “for the fans, by the fans.” We all have personal lives and none of us are looking to make money in the band. We did want a remix of all of the material, where the listener does not need to turn the volume to 10 just to hear it. Matt and everyone at Divebomb know their shit and are complete professionals. We send MP4s downloaded directly from the analog audio cassettes and sent it to them. Jamie King at the Basement Studios is a magician. I cannot believe how great the songs sound from the original analog sources. The mix is amazing and a huge improvement over Remixed. I have to acknowledge Steven Cobb too because I had the concept for the CD cover of earth depicted as a skull then being destroyed by a gamma ray from WR105, which is a star in Sagittarius. He completely nailed the artwork on Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon.
The songs are posted on www.Reverbnation.com/oblivionband and on Tribunal Records Bandcamp page https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cyclogenesis-songs-for-armageddon and we have the YouTube Channel – Oblivion USA. So, we have songs out there. I hope people still buy the CD because the packaging is incredible. I did not go to any other labels, only Divebomb. This is done out of my passion for Oblivion and they are doing it for their passion for the music, so I don’t care if someone is paying me. I just want people to enjoy our music.
How did you end up on an episode of Metal Evolution, which was a weekly metal show of sorts or like the history of metal on VH-1?
I have no fucking clue. I assume Sam Dunn had Back To Maim and used it. I was lying in bed, listening to Lars Ulrich blabber about the organic nature of tape-trading and I saw our demo cover. That was cool, especially because I was part of the tape-trading underground. Plus, how many bands put out seven demos without releasing an album? I bet it’s just us, so we are THE demo band.
Do you personally have all original copies of all the demos that you played on? Do you have a lot of the old flyers and reviews on the band and is one of the reviews you used is that one from Metal Core or no? If it is not I won’t be mad haha. Do you ever go through some of your old stuff at times and say to yourself “wow those were some great times”?
Yes, except I lost Why Did Johnny Kill. I went through everything when we were sourcing material for Cyclogenesis, so I scanned all of the flyers, almost all of the band photos, reviews and charts along with Mike and Santo. Our wives wanted to kill us because of the time we put into this CD. The really cool stuff was some of the old charts where Oblivion is charting higher than Metallica. And yes, we use the Metal Core reviews in our Press Kit and on the www.Reverbnation.com/oblivionband page.
We even thank you in the CD for what you and Metal Core has meant to the scene for 30 years. That is commendable. (my pleasure-chris)
Putting all of this material together for the CD really brought back great memories and rekindled long time friendships. Unfortunately, Joe Farley, Damian Cordisco and John Kraus all passed away. There is still one member that is remaining distant since the Mankind Becomes Inhuman recording session and looking through all of the old stuff, I just hope he can come back to being friends because life is too short to hold onto bitterness.
I personally miss the old days cause the scene is not close knit like it used to be when we would all write letters, send flyers out and anticipate the mail every day waiting for a new demo or release in the mail and you don’t get that these days. I imagine you mailed out tons of flyers on your own band as well as other zines and other bands back in the day. Am I right?
A-Fucking-men! You are on spot. We all put in so much time and effort back then and it was all “done by hand.” You put your heart and soul into fanzines, music, flyers and everything else. There was a personal part of us in everything from that scene. A lot of the art sucked but even the crappy art is better than a perfected computer generated logo or CD cover. I know a lot of young and talented musicians, who are way better players than I am but they strive for this perfection that is almost robotic and emotionless. Hell, most drummers do not even play live on CDs anymore they just program the drum machine for perfection then the bass and guitars get pro-tooled to death. Yeah the production is great but the heart and soul is missing. Now I just sound like an old man. Everything is just instant satisfaction and perfection today and to me that is Mankind Becoming Inhuman. We are all connected but more disconnected than ever.
I think this is why I like GOJIRA so much. It’s the best produced music on the market, they do it themselves in their own studio and let it breathe. They could be just another incoherent death metal band, except their music is art and expressive. It’s by humans for humans.
Have you ever gone on sites like eBay and seen your demo tape or demo tapes for sale or has any bootlegged any of your stuff that you know of?
Holy shit, yes. I think it was in 2012 and someone was selling an original Why Did Johnny Kill demo cassette tape for $200. I was like, we dubbed everyone one of them and the actual tape had me or George’s handwriting on it. Very obscure. It’s cool and if anyone wants to bootleg, go ahead, I appreciate you getting our music out there, just do not bootleg the Cyclogenesis CD until Divebomb sells out of the pressing because they already made the investment and it’s only $15 if you want it.
Now the band was based out of Toms River, NJ. I imagine you have been to Seaside Heights, NJ as I have many times. What are some memories you have of this place? Do you ever play any of the games on the boardwalk?
Seaside Heights was where me and George lived and George still lives there. If you ever go to Lucky Leo’s he still works there. Stop by and say “Hi.” Tell him you like Oblivion and you will make his day. We played at Razzles in the 80’s and they made us stop early because of the rowdy crowd. We were going to play JRs on the Boardwalk but Sandy hit right before the show when we reunited. It’s a shame that Fun Town pier burned down too. I take my kids up there still and my 11 year old son is a fisherman so we fish there too. You should have looked us up back in the day, we had some great parties on Franklin Ave.
Now what are some good and bad times you have of the band overall? What are some things you would do differently?
Good times mostly; I loved playing shows especially when there was a good sound system and crowd. I did not mind all of the fights. I think it almost added to our shows. There was always someone getting thrown out for fighting. I miss writing songs and crafting tunes because it allows you to be creative and hopefully resonate with someone. The bad times were always about petty and self-centered bullshit. Leave the ego at the door and be part of something better than the individual. I think a band is a sum of its parts and nobody is better than anybody because music is subjective. It was never “my” band, it was only “our” band. I hate it when people say come see “my” band because they sound like a narcissist.
If I were going to do anything different, I would write a Mission Statement and Business Plan to make sure all of the members had the same goal. If someone had individual goals then I would have liked to know ahead of time. I wanted to make this a career and when I look back at it, I can see where my dream got shit on just because we never had a mission statement. I wish I could take back a few mean comments from over the years and maybe treat a few people better by understanding them.
Now who had a hand in making this whole re-release possibly besides yourself? Do all the other ex-members know about this CD release and if so what are their thoughts on it?
Mike Sica and Santo DiBenedetto put a ton of effort into making this happen. Chris Kelly helped a lot too. Outside of us, everyone just let us do our thing and did not do too much. Charlie sent me some old pictures to use. Every member is aware of the project and everyone has copies of the CD. We broke it up evenly, other than Joe Farley (RIP). We dedicated the release to Joe too. I’ve heard from everyone except two members and they all love the final product. They cannot believe how good it sounds and how amazing the packaging came out. (it is too-chris)
Now we are almost into 2017. Do you see the band putting out any new material and playing any live shows?
I see us playing some shows and if that goes well, we all of a ton of songs and riffs that we could probably turn into 10 songs quickly. I hope so, I just do not know about the new songs yet. We will be playing shows but at a snail’s pace.
Are you amazed in some way that bands like Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax, Slayer, Death Angel, and others are still even around these days?
Not really. If I were in their shoes I’d be doing it too. I think I have the same mindset as them and I commit to things, especially when I love doing it. Hell, I’m out here promoting Oblivion and I’m still committed to it. They are lucky to be able to do it for a living and all of them have lineup changes. I only wish I could be in their shoes. I mean, what else are they going to do? It’s so much fun writing songs and people still want it. Good music is good music and other than Metallica the others probably need the paycheck. Even Metallica started writing good music again.
Please plug any websites or sites the band has these days?
www.youtube.com/channel/UCpxW_DPr5wdrqHeIEsryzkg or search Oblivion USA
Bob I am out of questions. Horns up for doing this novel of an interview and any last words to wrap this up?
Holy cow that was the biggest interview in history. Are you really using all of this? It took me a goof eight hours to complete. You are a madman. Thank you for always supporting heavy music and doing what you do. You helped so many good bands over the years and are a huge part of keeping underground music alive. Metal Core and Divebomb Records are very similar in that regard – you are both purists and do it for all of the right reasons.
Please listen to the double CD, Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon and help spread the word. If your readers give it a listen, I know they will not be disappointed regardless of hearing it 25 years ago or for the first time. Good music is good music and it does not matter if it was released on MCA or independently. And, one last thing, if you are in a band using the name OBLIVION, stop using our band name. We were the first ones using it and we are still using it. Shame on anyone using our band name, especially for the ones using it that know they are using it and know who we are…WE ARE OBLIVION and no other band is, that really pisses me off!
Interview by Chris Forbes